It would be a damn shame if Chicago’s Rodie doesn’t get due respect for his new Stressin’ Adolescent Mixtape. I cannot stress (pun unintended) how essential of a listen this is for true hip-hop heads. The well-rounded and meticulously crafted tape is easily one of my favorites of the year and has the potential to change the very face of Chicago hip-hop. It has all the elements of a classic: picturesq storytelling, courageous vulnerability, focus on empowerment, relatability, inspiration from all sectors of hip-hop (past, present, and future) compelling wordplay, and most importantly, the patience to make it all perfect.

Rodie made Stressin’ Adolescents for the youth who feel the pressures of school finals, but there is much more to explore. He sticks with this theme but also shares what’s on his mind from outside pressures to more personal feelings and ideas. The interludes are reminiscent of  The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill – not just in subject matter but also in the bare bones audio. Without surprise, Jay Wood is featured on the tape along with welcomed discovery S.O.S. and some of the best production I’ve heard all year. These 15 tracks lay out a story of a young man with natural talent, a positive mindset, and all the makings of an influential figure in all of music.